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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Carcano
Moderator Italian Weapons Forum
Germany
1040 Posts
Posted - 09/01/2003 : 4:34:50 PM
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Browsing through the older postings of Parallax Bill's "French and Italian Firearms Board", I found two interesting notions about handloads for the Carcano cavalry carbines.

I shall first render their text, and then ask you to contribute freely whatever - good *OR* bad - experience you have made yourselves when handloading for a cavalry carbine - thanks !

Kivaari wrote on 19th Feb., 2003:
"Well, we went to the range today with about 100 rounds of my handloads of Norma brass with smaller rims (.040), Fed Magnum primers, and igniting H414 under the new Hornady bullet.
Best accuracy with this little tiny carbine was about 36-37 grains of H414. The primers were flattening out pretty good but no extraction problems; I like 36 grains in my rifle."

He shot, as I should add, a carbine with removed bayonet.

To this, AtlPete1 answered on 20th Feb., 2003:
"I've only shot mil-surp through mine and it kicked some but no bucking or jumping really, grouped around 5 inches at 50 yards(I'm pretty blind)"

My questions now, if you like:

1. What are your preferred (and I suppose, most accurate) handloads for the 6,5 mm cavalry carbines ?

2. What group sizes have you been able to achieve, realistically, at either 50 or 100 yards (metres) with 5 shot or 10 shot groups ? (Smaller groups do not count)
Note handloads, factory ammo (Norma, Prvi partitzan) or milsurp, as you like.

3. Have you ever compared firing with the bayonet extended, in contrast to the bayonet folded ? Did it alter group size and/or point of impact significantly ?

Best regards and thanks,


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Alexander Eichener
Email: [email protected]
Carcano Website: http://personal.stevens.edu/~gliberat/carcano

Aethelbert
Gunboards Super Premium Member



USA
352 Posts
Posted - 09/02/2003 : 12:23:42 AM
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quote:
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[Moderator's note: I just fixed the quotation marks]
1. What are your preferred (and I suppose, most accurate) handloads for the 6,5 mm cavalry carbines ?

2. What group sizes have you been able to achieve, realistically, at either 50 or 100 yards (metres) with 5 shot or 10 shot groups ? (Smaller groups do not count)
Note handloads, factory ammo (Norma, Prvi partitzan) or milsurp, as you like.

3. Have you ever compared firing with the bayonet extended, in contrast to the bayonet folded ? Did it alter group size and/or point of impact significantly ?

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1. Preferred (and most accurate) load is 34.9 gr IMR-4064. Accuracy begins to degrade at 35.0 gr.

2. 5"-6" at 100 yards with above load and new Hornady bullets and Winchester large rifle primers.

3. With bayonet extended? Better accuracy when doing informal plinking. Less accurate when firing supported (either standing, sitting or prone).

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Edited by - Carcano on 09/02/2003 03:07:00 AM


Atlpete
Gunboards Premium Member



USA
165 Posts
Posted - 09/02/2003 : 09:42:31 AM
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Thanks Alexander. 1.Not a handloader, though I have shot handloads made with spritzers with comparable groups to the SMI in carbines, since I didn't load them I can't tell you their composition. You can probably add some inches to my grouping too since I have since discovered that my "50 yard lane" is upon measurement more like 40.
2. With my cav at 40 yds, I'll print 18"+ with Privi(no "group" really,) and under 18" to around 8" with Norma. Haven't shot the Hornaday in a carbine yet. The surplus and the handloaded spritzers have performed the best in my Cav.

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Edited by - Atlpete on 09/02/2003 09:44:16 AM


jcjordan
Gunboards Member



USA
42 Posts
Posted - 09/03/2003 : 6:30:04 PM
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Well using the new 160gr Hornady bullet along with the info from Dave at Hornady saying that the Hornady load being 37gr H414 with WLR primers with Norma brass, my accuracy was ok in my excellent M41. I shot a bunch of Buffalo Arm 140gr though it using I4064, I3031 & I4895 but never got good results with them. I think I might try the .264 140gr bullet as some have said their M41's like them. I still have my dies for them & see how that does in my M41. As to my M91/38, I know it doesn't like the .264 bullets at all due to it being a lower grade but haven't tried the .268 bullets yet in it. So many loads, so little time.


DMala
Gunboards.Com Silver Star Member



USA
570 Posts
Posted - 09/05/2003 : 4:45:42 PM
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Wow, I have not been to this board in a while, and look at the changes!

Anyhow, off the top of my head I can only reply to question 3. A while ago I tested a cav carbine for accuracy at 100 yards, with the bayo in or out, I did not notice any difference. This was done only once, so I am not taking it as a definite answer. I shot it from a benchrest, at 100 yards, Hornady .268" bullets and reloads.

On the contrary a Vetterli Mod. 70/87 showed a huge loss of accuracy when shot with the long bayo on, the groups opened up from 4-5" at 100 yards without bayo to 12" or more, and shifted to one side.


DMala

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DMala



"Spero che la mia brigata viva per sempre nei nostri cuori, e che vaga in mona chi l'ha sciolta" (from the brigatacadore.it website).


Carcano
Moderator Italian Weapons Forum



Germany
1040 Posts
Posted - 09/05/2003 : 5:23:27 PM
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Welcome back, DMala !
I am glad that logging in now seems to work for you.

Warm regards,

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Alexander Eichener
Email: [email protected]
Carcano Website: http://personal.stevens.edu/~gliberat/carcano

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Edited by - Carcano on 02/27/2004 1:20:26 PM


Neo
Gunboards Member



30 Posts
Posted - 10/12/2003 : 5:54:44 PM
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I use 140 gr bullets and IMR 4064 powder. I'll try and see what kind of 5 shot groups I can get. I usually only do 3 shot groups.


Neo
Gunboards Member



30 Posts
Posted - 10/13/2003 : 2:33:00 PM
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My shots were all over the paper :( I guess I should try some of that hornady ammo. Where can I get some and how much is it?


Dino in Reno
Gunboards Member



USA
87 Posts
Posted - 10/21/2003 : 01:46:43 AM
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I went to the County range Saturday with a pile of rifles, including a Finn marked 38 in 7.35 and a nice 6.5 carbine:

# ST 2831, no date
Stock matches with
ST
2831
on the left butt of the stock, a 4 in a circle and with "TO BOB GRIFFIN" hand stamped in the right of the stock. I love "Bring-Backs".

At 50 yards off a bench (no rest used) four of five made a 3/4 inch group, shot # 3 opened it to a 1.5 inch group. Center to center, at 50 yards.

This was with a local specialty Mill-Surp loader's new 6.5 load using the Hornady cases and bullets.
One of the rangemasters had never shot a Carcano before and made the standard jokes, after one clip he said no more jokes, other than about the Sh#$ sights the Italians used.

This one will not be re-barreled to 7.62X39 :)

The Finn marked Carcano gave 2.5" to 4" groups at 50 yards with '38 dated Italian ammo.

Dino in Reno


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Edited by - Dino in Reno on 10/21/2003 01:51:47 AM


GjMan
Gunboards Super Premium Member



375 Posts
Posted - 11/01/2003 : 3:49:48 PM
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I have a very accurate load for my 7.35 cav carbine. I use the Lee 2.5 cc dipper and IMR 4320. Bullet is the old Hornady 128 gr SP seated to cannelure in Norma brass. Primer is Federal std. From the bench at 50 yds, I get 3-shot groups between 1/2 abd 3/4 inch with the bayo removed. Have not tried the new Hornady 7.35 bullets, so do not know if accuracy will be comparable.

Interstingly, my 7.35 short rifle does not like this load, but the bore is rough.

My mongrel 6.5 cav carb, which I assembled from parts, likes 33.0 gr IMR 4064 under the Hornady .268 in Frontier brass. Sorry, do not have OAL just now, but I seat the bullets so that a loaded clip will just go into the magazine. Primer is Fed std. I fabbed a scout mount and put on a 2x pistol scope. There is no front sight/bayo assy (still looking to buy one). At 100 yds from the bench, my last 3 5-shot groups measured 1 7/8, 2 3/8, and 1 1/2 inch center to center. Since the groove diameter of the barrel is .269 inch, I am quite pleased with the Hornady bullets. Cases were sorted by weight, flash holes and primer pockets uniformed. The lot of Frontier brass I received proved to be very consistent.


shjoe
Gunboards Super Premium Member



324 Posts
Posted - 04/17/2004 : 08:53:10 AM
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as i begin to set up reloading stock for my 6.5 cav carbine, i am amazed at the combinations available. ball powder, and LR mag primers seem to be recommended for all the right reasons. however, bullet weight, manufacturer, and diameter seem to be more of an experimental science, with some longer barreled gain twist rifles having good results with one type bullet over another. cav carbines with gain twist may not be able to stabilize the longer bullets, in my opinion. there fore, it would seem that a lighter bullet, 130-140gr, in the shorter cav barrel may produce more consistent results? i have not seen much reload data for the lighter bullets in carbine barrels with gain twist, except for in this forum (thank goodness), and would be curious to know if anyone had a pet load using the lighter or middle weight bullets in cav carbines. thanks, john


Aethelbert
Gunboards Super Premium Member



USA
352 Posts
Posted - 05/04/2004 : 11:28:31 AM
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shjoe,
Just like children, no two rifles/carbines are quite alike and many have their own preferences for what they are fed. While some oon this forum have many (as in 1, 2 and many) Carcani, I have only 4 -- two M-41 rifles, an M-91 cav carbine and an M-91/38 cav carbine. Of these, I shoot just the one M-41 (been with me since 1966) and the M-91 carbine (the much bigger rear notch is kinder to my aging eyes, I guess). Point is, I'm real lucky 'cause both of these are happy with the exact same load, the same load I mentioned earlier in this thread -- 34.9 gr IMR-4064 pushing the Hornady 160 ge more consistent ir RN bullet. I have been very satisfied with the performance of this extruded powder. The first possible advantage to ball powder would undoubtedly be in ease of consistent measuring of the charge. I've heard that it may also be more consistent in burn qualities but I've nothing to go on but what others -- many of whom are far more knowledgable than I -- have said.

Your particular cav carbine may like the lighter weight bullets better than mine does. Depending on barrel internal measurements, etc, it may also do better with .264" bullets than .268" bullets. As I said, each rifle is its own package of variables.

Let us know how your loads turn out.


shjoe
Gunboards Super Premium Member



324 Posts
Posted - 05/04/2004 : 8:31:28 PM
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thanks for responding, and i couldnt agree more with your ideas on both rifles and reloading. some combinations , other things being equal, seem to out perform others when in "the book" or on paper they shouldnt. carefull starting loads using safe components and carefull documentation should eventualy show the best combination. i dont have a chronograph, but dont think that is a handicap. 5 shot group consistentcy would be enough for me. as well as anything approaching 2 min of angle accuracy! thanks again, john


WillK
Gunboards Member



USA
19 Posts
Posted - 06/03/2004 : 4:32:54 PM
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Just curious- I noticed that a couple of posts had loads of IMR-4064 w/ the Hornady .268" bullet that exceeded Hornady's max load of 31.4 grains. Have y'all found that to be safe?

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Will K.


Aethelbert
Gunboards Super Premium Member



USA
352 Posts
Posted - 06/04/2004 : 02:23:08 AM
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Will K. --
I have been very careful to watch for any signs of excessive pressure as I worked up my load of 34.9 gr of IMR-4064 coupled with the Hornady .268" bullets. No signs whatsoever of excessive pressure. No flattened primers. No cratered primers. No difficult extraction. Backed off from 35.0 gr IMR-4064 because of a slight but noticeable drop-off in accuracy compared to the 34.9 gr load. Still no sign of anything indicating excessive pressure.


airdale
Gunboards.Com Silver Star Member



USA
933 Posts
Posted - 08/26/2004 : 2:49:47 PM
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I got the following results from my 1941 F.N.A Brescia 91/38 cav. carbine. This rifle also has the crossed rifle and target stamp on RH side of barrel.Using Graft brass, 36 grs Win 760, 160 gr Hornady (.268) bullet,WLRM primer, COL 2.980, fired from a bench with target distance of 100 yds and 5 shot groups.

Bayonet folded= 2.50" and Bayonet extended= 2.75"


Carcano
Moderator Italian Weapons Forum



Germany
1040 Posts
Posted - 08/26/2004 : 4:59:50 PM
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Quite GOOD ! My compliments.

My most accurate Carcano is a M 1938 cavalry carbine in 7,35mm; the second best is a lowly M 91/38 short rifle which an anonymous (presumably Greeek) arsenal armorer had reamed out to 6,5x54 MS (has a big "E" on receiver).

Regards,

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Alexander Eichener
Email: [email protected]
Carcano Website: http://personal.stevens.edu/~gliberat/carcano


Kivaari
Gunboards.Com Silver Star Member



761 Posts
Posted - 09/28/2004 : 1:39:44 PM
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My little carbine with 36 grains of H414 was able to shoot 1 1/2" best groups at 50 yards from the bench. This was difficult to do with those abominable sights!

With the Hornady bullet, new larger one, I heartily recommend that only the Hornady provided data be used and to the letter with components, imho.

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kivaari
over 600 quality SKS trigger tunes and repairs
www.kivaari.com
NRA Endowment Member
Life Member Texas State Rifle Assoc






Aethelbert
Gunboards Super Premium Member



USA
352 Posts
Posted - 06/16/2005 : 11:13:29 PM
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Kivari and Airdale --
Wow! You two are good! I finally took my 1936 vintage Moschetto per Cavalleria to a range this Tuesday just past. 6" groups were what printed on the targets. Knowing that rifles are often more accurate at far less than full house loads, I may have to break down and reload at a smaller powder amount.


mcooper
Gunboards Member



12 Posts
Posted - 06/30/2005 : 12:41:57 AM
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Does anyone have a less expensive source of 6.5 jacketed bullets, .268+, lower weight (i.e. shorter)than the Hornady 160gr? Buck Stix now asks $99 plus shipping for 100 bullets in 100gr and 120gr. Thanks


Jeremy
Gunboards.Com Silver Star Member



803 Posts
Posted - 01/06/2006 : 07:33:10 AM
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I shot my cav carbine the other day at 25m with C-42 Milsurp ammo. 1st six shots went into 1". Not bad..now to work up some loads for it.


Kivaari
Gunboards.Com Silver Star Member



761 Posts
Posted - 10/30/2006 : 3:16:55 PM
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That's the way Marines do it huh? :^)

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kivaari
over 600 quality SKS trigger tunes and repairs
www.kivaari.com
NRA Endowment Member
Life Member Texas State Rifle Assoc






Aethelbert
Gunboards Super Premium Member



USA
352 Posts
Posted - 11/01/2006 : 01:38:32 AM
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Not having been one of the Few, the Proud, I can't say but, yes, that's standard for the men and women of the US Army when it comes to 'zeroing' their rifles. The rest is firing at pop-up/knock-down targets at the 'K-D' range, ranges that for me went out to 300 meters. There were no groups to be measured, only raw results -- did I score a hit or not? Maybe not exactly precise but combat isn't usually except for those skilled shooters commonly referred to as snipers which is another class of shooting and shooters altogether.

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Edited by - Aethelbert on 11/01/2006 01:40:37 AM


GJD
Gunboards Super Premium Member



540 Posts
Posted - 01/21/2007 : 02:26:41 AM
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Accurate load for my M91/38 Carcano Cavalry Carbine:

Bullet: "Lead Heads" .266 130gr. gas checked

Powder Charge: 50.5 grains of Accurate 8700

Case: Once Fired Prvi Partizan and FNM.

Shoot nice and accurate at 50 yards. Recoil is there, but pressures are low. 8700 burns slow and will leave a little string of powder in the barrel.

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- GJD

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Edited by - GJD on 01/21/2007 02:29:05 AM


Aethelbert
Gunboards Super Premium Member



USA
352 Posts
Posted - 01/29/2007 : 10:21:09 PM
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GJD --
How "nice and accurate" was it? What was the size of your group? Overall, sounds good. Just curious about how accurate. If it's leaving a little string of powder in the barrel (unburned powder?), is it possible that it may have a tiny bit too much powder in the load? Not being any sort of ballistician or engineer, I can't say.


GJD
Gunboards Super Premium Member



540 Posts
Posted - 03/04/2007 : 01:40:51 AM
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Groups were quite small, although I had not officially measured them. The unburned powder was not the fault of too many grains, rather it is the fault of the powder itself. Accurate 8700 was, as I have been told, developed to use in the 20mm Vulcan Cannons for military usuage. The powder burns really really slow. Itis advised by Accurate Powders that one use magnum primer to try and get it to burn more thoroughly.

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- GJD
 

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2,732 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
WesinMI
Posted - 06/09/2006 : 11:00:59 AM
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My cavalry carbine shoots best with bayonet extended but looks a bit dorky with bayonet pointing slightly downwards in locked position. Of the two rifles mentioned (SA-stamped M 1938 Fucile corto, M 91/38 Moschetto per cavalleria), the Finn will shoot better to POA as the Finns put a very tall front sight on it to allow them to use their normal pointing technique of the top of front sight even with top of rear sight notch. OTOH the cavalry carbine aiming technique is the tip of front sight in the BOTTOM of rear sight notch on target and even then it will shoot high at usual 100 yard ranges as the battlesight is 300m. You probably won't notice any variation on the gain twist if you use the long bearing surface 6.5 Carcano round (Hornady or pulled milsurp) but you will likely have poorer accuracy using the Privi Partisan commercial 6.5 Carcano with its SP bullet which is harder to stabilize with the gain twist. I recommend you reload for both of these calibers, especially the 6.5 Carcano for best results.



WillRuss
Posted - 06/09/2006 : 7:04:01 PM
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Thanks everybody. Wes - I hadn't really thought about the bullet shape making an accuracy difference in the carbine, but it does make sense. I'll pick up some Hornady rounds with my next Grafs order. Now I just wish Hornady would load 7.35, too!



WesinMI
Posted - 06/12/2006 : 4:04:22 PM
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The 7.35 milsurp round is a spire point bullet of 128 gr weight. Hornady makes a very similar bullet for them that is very close. The 7.35 bore has a different pitch than the 6.5 and is well suited for the SP bullet. I am impressed with the accuracy potential of my M38 Finn and enjoy reloading and shooting it. Another fellow on the boards I read actually won a milsurp 200m shoot with an M38 Finn - that must have caused a considerable furor amongst the M1, 03, and Swede/Swiss shooters!
 
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